Welcome to my French Defense (ECO C02) game with Stuart S. Finney page!

This is a chess game in which I played the White side of the French Defense.

On this page I have included the moves (score) and analysis of my game against Stuart S. Finney. I lost this one even though I was older and higher rated. In fact, I lost every game that I played in the Orlando Amateur Championship that year! I included this game here because it illustrates that even if I win the opening I can still lose the game!

[Event “Orlando Amateur Championship”]
[Site “Orlando, Florida”]
[Date “2004.5.13”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Mike Serovey (1556)”]
[Black “Stuart S. Finney (1514)”]
[Result “0-1”]

1.e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bd7 7. O-O cxd4 8. cxd4 Nxd4 9. Nxd4 Qxd4 10. Nc3 Ne7 11. Nb5 Qxe5 12. Re1 Qb8 13. Qf3 Ng6 14. Bxg6 hxg6 15. Bf4 Qd8 16. Nc7+ Ke7 17. Nxa8 Qxa8 18. Qxd5 Ke8 19. Rad1 Bc6 20. Qd4 b6 21. f3 Bc5 22. Bc7 Bxd4+ 23. Rxd4 Ke7 24. Bd6+ Ke8 25. Bc7 Bd7 26. Red1 Qc6 27. Rxd7 Qxd7 28. Rxd7 Kxd7 29. Be5 f6 30. Bc3 Kc6 31. h3 Kc5 32. Kf2 Kc4 33. Ke3 b5 34. Bd4 a6 35. Bb6 Rc8 36. Kd2 Rc6 37. Be3 b4 38. b3+ Kb5 39. g4 a5 40. g5 a4 41. gxf6 gxf6 42. Bd4 e5 43. Bb2 axb3 44. axb3 Rd6+ 45. Ke2 Rd7 46. f4 exf4 47. Bxf6 Rh7 48. h4 Rf7 49. Bg5 Kc5 50. Kf3 Kd4 51. Bxf4 Kc3 52. Kg4 Rxf4+ 53. Kxf4 Kxb3 54. Kg5 Kc4 55. Kxg6 b3 56. h5 b2 57. h6 b1=Q+ 58. Kg7 Qg1+ 59. Kh8 Qd4+ 60. Kg8 Qg4+ 61. Kh8 Qc8+ 62. Kg7 Kd5 63. h7 Qg4+ 64. Kh8 Qh5 65. Kg7 Qg5+ 66. Kh8 Qd8+ 67. Kg7 Qe7+ 68. Kg8 Ke6 69. h8=Q Qf7# 0-1

Orlando Amateur Championship
Orlando, Florida
Round 3
Board 33
13 May 2004
White: Mike Serovey (1556) Black: Stuart S. Finney (1514)

 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6

French Defense, Advanced Variation after 5... Qb6.

French Defense, Advanced Variation after 5… Qb6.

This position is typical of the Advanced Variation of the French Defense. Play centers around d4 with Black attacking d4 and White defending it.

6. Bd3 Bd7 7. O-O cxd4 8. cxd4 Nxd4 9. Nxd4 Qxd4 10. Nc3

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 10. Nc3.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 10. Nc3.

We have now transposed into the position that White wanted. White sacrificed the d pawn and now offers the e pawn to get an attack against the Black King.

Ne7 11. Nb5 Qxe5 12. Re1 Qb8

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 12... Qb8.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 12… Qb8.

This position is very similar to the analysis position on my French Defense page. White now prepares to put hi Knight on c7, forking the Black King the Rook on a8.

White is now down two pawns but has a slight lead in development and an attack as compensation. If White’s attack fails he will lose the endgame being down two pawns.

13. Qf3 Ng6 14. Bxg6 hxg6 15. Bf4 Qd8 16. Nc7+!

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 16. Nc7+!

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 16. Nc7+!

White forces the Black King to move, thus keeping it in the Center. White also wins the exchange on a8. A few moves after this position Black forgot that he moved his King and tried to castle! I called him on this and made him choose a legal move instead.

Ke7 17. Nxa8 Qxa8 18. Qxd5

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 18. Qxd5.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 18. Qxd5.

White now has one of his 2 pawns back and is opening up the position around Black’s King. Black has doubled pawns on the Kingside and his King is stuck in the Center so the position is about even. White continues to put pressure on the Black King.

Ke8 19. Rad1 Bc6

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 19... Bc6.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 19… Bc6.

Black plays a good defensive move. The Bishop on c6 is protected and with the Black Queen on the same diagonal Black can put some pressure on the White pawn at h2. White wants to keep pressure on the d and e files and threaten checkmate on d8.

20. Qd4 b6

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 20... b6.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 20… b6.

This is White’s first and most critical blunder of the game. Black threatens to capture the pawn on g2. but it is an empty threat. If Black captures the pawn on g2 then White checkmates with Qd7#. Better here was to simply ignore the Black Bishop and move White’s Bishop to c7 threatening Qd8+ and Rxd8+.

21. f3?? Bc5! 22. Bc7 Bxd4+ 23. Rxd4 Ke7

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 23... Ke7.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 23… Ke7.

Now White is down a Queen and pawn for a Rook. I played this game out anyways instead of resigning simply because I didn’t have anywhere else to go or anything else to do.

24. Bd6+ Ke8 25. Bc7 Bd7 26. Red1 Qc6

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 26... Qc6.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 26… Qc6.

Here White decided to trade down into an endgame in which he is down a Rook for a Bishop. White was hoping for a draw against an opponent he believed to be inferior.

27. Rxd7 Qxd7 28. Rxd7 Kxd7 29. Be5 f6

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 29... f6.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 29… f6.

Here is the position after the dust has settled. White is hoping to trade off all of the pawns and get into a Bishop versus Rook endgame, which is draw in most cases.

30. Bc3 Kc6 31. h3 Kc5 32. Kf2 Kc4 33. Ke3 b5 34. Bd4 a6 35. Bb6 Rc8 36. Kd2 Rc6 37. Be3 b4

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 37... b4.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 37… b4.

I think that this is an instructive endgame. Black is advancing his Queenside pawns even though he has the Kingside majority. By trading off on the Queenside he is helping White’s plans. White must keep the Black pawns from queening.

38. b3+ Kb5 39. g4 a5 40. g5 a4 41. gxf6? gxf6

 

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 41... gxg6.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 41… gxg6.

By capturing on f6 White undoubles Black’s pawns and gives Black the better pawn structure on the Kingside.

42. Bd4 e5 43. Bb2 axb3 44. axb3 Rd6+ 45. Ke2 Rd7 46. f4 exf4 47. Bxf6 Rh7 48. h4 Rf7 49. Bg5 Kc5

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 49... Kc5.

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 49… Kc5.

Black is going to lose the f pawn, which makes White’s endgame a little easier to play.

50. Kf3 Kd4 51. Bxf4 Kc3 52. Kg4 Rxf4+!

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 52... Rxf4+!

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 52… Rxf4+!

At this point I realized that Black would queen first but still thought it was a drawn endgame. I turned out to be wrong.

53. Kxf4 Kxb3 54. Kg5 Kc4 55. Kxg6 b3 56. h5 b2 57. h6 b1=Q+

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 57... b1=Q+

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 57… b1=Q+

Because of the distance of Black’s King from the White King and pawn, I thought that I could hold this position to a draw. If the Black King was one more square away it very well may have ended in a draw.

58. Kg7 Qg1+ 59. Kh8 Qd4+ 60. Kg8 Qg4+ 61. Kh8 Qc8+ 62. Kg7 Kd5 63. h7 Qg4+

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 63... Qg4+

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 63… Qg4+

At this point I still thought that I had a draw! If instead of playing 64. Kh8 I had played 64. Kf8 play might have continued 64… Qf5+ 65. Kg7 Qg5+ 66. Kf8 Ke6!! 67. h8=Q Qe7+ 68. Kg8 Qf7#.

64. Kh8 Qh5 65. Kg7 Qg5+ 66. Kh8 Qd8+ 67. Kg7 Qe7+ 68. Kg8 Ke6 69. h8=Q Qf7# 0-1

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 69... Qf7# (Final position).

French Defense, Milner-Berry Gambit after 69… Qf7# (Final position).

If instead White had under promoted to a Knight he could have lasted longer, but it would still be a theoretical win for Black. Play could continue 69. h8=N Qg4+ 70. Kf8 Kf6 71. Nf7 Qc5+ 72. Kg7Qd5!! and White’s Knight is pinned and will be won.

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